5 Popular Mai Tai Cocktail Recipes, But Which One To Choose?

After one sip, you’ll be fire dancing and surfing Diamond Head.

The Mai Tai, one of the quintessential Boat Drinks. It tastes great, puts a crooked smile on your face and makes you feel as if you’re on vacation. Sounds like a can’t miss cocktails right? That’s what I thought until, I started reading into the history and recipes.

Turns out there is about as many Mai Tai recipes as there is grains of sand on the beach. Which one to choose!

The creator of the “original” version is Victor J. Bergeron in 1944, and was allegedly used at the Honolulu Sheraton Moana Surfrider. You know how these original recipes go though, the facts get a little muddled with rum and time.

Here are 5 popular Mai Tai cocktail recipes for you to choose from. All I know is that after looking at the tidal wave of information on this popular drink, I could definitely use a few.

Mai Tai Recipe (Original)

  • 2 oz. of 17-year old J. Wray & Nephew Rum over shaved ice
  • Add juice from one fresh lime
  • 1/2 oz. Holland DeKuyper Orange Curacao
  • 1/4 oz. Trader Vic’s Rock Candy Syrup
  • 1/2 oz. French Garier Orgeat Syrup

Directions: Shake vigorously. Pour over crushed ice. Add a sprig of fresh mint.

Mai Tai Recipe #2

  • 1/2 oz. Amaretto
  • 1 oz. Rum Light Rum
  • 1/2 oz. Rum Dark Rum
  • 1 Pineapple Juice
  • 1 Sweet and Sour mix
  • 1/2 oz. Triple Sec

Directions: Mix together with crushed ice in a glass and garnish with mint leaves. Raise glass and toast.

Mai Tai Recipe #3

  • 2 oz. your favorite rum
  • 3 oz. Trader Vic’s Mai Tai Mix
  • 1/2 oz. orange curacao
  • 1/2 oz. almond syrup
  • 1/2 oz. vanilla syrup

Directions: Add lime juice to taste. Mix thoroughly and pour over ice in tall glass. Raise glass and toast.

Mai Tai Recipe #4

  • 1-3/4 oz. light rum
  • 3/4 oz. Myers’s rum
  • 3/4 oz. orange curacao (or Grand Marnier)
  • Juice of a lemon
  • Juice of a lime
  • Juice of an orange (1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • a splash of grenadine

Directions: Mix all ingredients thoroughly and pour over ice in tall glass. Add splash of grenadine at end. Raise glass and toast.

Mai Tai Recipe #5

  • 1 oz. Light Rum
  • 1 oz. Dark Rum
  • 1/2 oz. Triple Sec
  • 1/2 oz. Amaretto
  • 2 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. simple syrup

Directions: Serve in Hurricane glass. Add all ingredients to shaker. Shake and strain over ice. Garnish with Cherry and pineapple. Raise glass and toast.

You can see some of the common elements like light and dark rum, lime juice, and pineapple juice that all of the recipes use. Which one do you try, I have no idea. I say mix one of each and have a Mai Tai taste testing party! Come on, I’ve had worse ideas.

If you have a different Mai Tai cocktail recipe, feel free to post it in the comment section below. We would love to see your take on this popular boat drink.


By |2017-10-10T07:42:51-04:00August 3rd, 2011|Boat Drinks|13 Comments

About the Author:

Just a salty pirate looking to explore and document the wonders of the Caribbean. Professional blogger, rum judge, consultant, marketer, and consumer of blue water beauty.


  1. MixnSip August 3, 2011 at 10:41 am

    It’s #1 for me.

  2. Michael J. Heim August 3, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Thanks for posting! The is one of my all time favorite drinks ever! I make mine like the original recipe! Keep up the great work! CHEERS!

  3. Joey August 3, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Love the original, however, in the absence of W&N17, I use 1 oz. Appleton Reserve + 1 oz. St. James

  4. mm
    RumShopRyan August 3, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Thanks for the comments guys! Joey, I mix up the rums in my Mai Tai as well. I usually go with Mt. Gay Silver for my white and Appleton Reserve for my dark.


  5. Carl Grooms August 3, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    why choose? Seriously, make them all and toast to Rumshopryan!

  6. Damon @ Let's Tiki August 3, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    I do like the Original quite a bit, but the idea of a Mai Tai tasting party sounds great to me. I just might have to do that!

  7. Fabian Christopher August 4, 2011 at 8:04 am

    Recipe #2 is definitely my speed. Bartender refill please!

  8. Peter June 13, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    Here is the REAL recipe:

    Equal parts of Light Rum and Dark Rum, 1/2 ounce of Orgeat (Almond Syrup), 2 ounces of liquid sour mix, squeeze of fresh lime. Shake into a glass of crushed ice. Garnish with Pineapple chunk and cherry.

    Let me know how you like this.

  9. Mark July 1, 2015 at 1:26 am

    This one comes from the Hale Koa hotel in Waikiki. Currently, it’s my favorite.

    ½ oz Orange Curacao
    ¼ oz Orgeat syrup
    1 oz Sweet & sour
    2 oz Pineapple juice
    1 oz Light rum
    1 oz Dark by Trader Vic’s
    2 parts Aloha
    Build drink in glass

  10. Stephi @StephiGardens May 30, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    Will be trying all of these! Thanks for pulling some of the top recipes together. In recipe #2 what amount does the 1 refer to for the pineapple juice and sweet and sour mix?

  11. Anavar June 5, 2017 at 6:54 am

    Great recipes, I think I’ll have to try these, but not all at one time!

    Thank you for the article.

  12. nancy johnson June 16, 2017 at 1:41 am

    been a bartender for 30 years. here’s a recipe if your low on funds or liquor..
    spiced rum
    coconut rum
    grenidine or juice from march cherries
    pineapple juice
    orange juice
    optional squeeze lemon or lime juice
    toss in shaker. shake vigorously till tin freezes.
    garnish with pineapple wedge and cherries if available.

    now, sit back, sip and enjoy!

  13. anavar September 28, 2017 at 9:52 am

    Thank you for the article.

    I think I’ll have to try these, but not all at one time!

Comments are closed.